Rafael Nadal wins Mundo Deportivo’s 2017 Best Athlete of the Year Award

Tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza were the big winners in the 70th Grand Gala of El Mundo Deportivo. Rafa was named the best male athlete of 2017 and Garbi was named the best female athlete of 2017.

Rafa:

I am very happy and grateful to Mundo Deportivo for having thought of me for the prize. The truth is that this place is special and very beautiful and ideal to celebrate a night of sports. I’ve been winning and not winning, but someone has to win.

Rafa won the honour for the fourth time in his career (2007, 2008, 2013) to commemorate a remarkable 2017 for the Spaniard.

Rafa on his injury:

It’s a small injury that needs time and rest and recovery, and that’s what we’re doing.

For the moment my schedule is the same and I think I’ll be able to travel to Mexico to play at Acapulco.

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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Rafael Nadal Retires From Australian Open With Leg Injury [PHOTOS]

(AP) – An injured and visibly struggling Rafael Nadal retired while trailing in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic.

Top-ranked Rafa fended off five break points in the last game before Cilic broke his serve, then the 16-time major winner went to shake hands with the umpire and his opponent, and angrily hurled his headband into his equipment bag.

No. 6-seeded Cilic advanced to his first semifinal in Australia since 2010 with a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 2-0, retired.

Rafa limped into a news conference about a half-hour later, still wincing when he stepped up onto a platform. He said he felt muscle pain in his upper right leg in the third set but played through it. In the fourth set, chasing a drop shot, he felt the pain get worse “but didn’t realize how bad.”

Rafa said he’d have medical scans Wednesday to determine the exact location and extent of the injury, which he could only describe as being high on his right leg but not in the hip.

It was only the second time Rafa had retired during a Grand Slam match  — the last time was also an Australian Open quarterfinal, in 2010 against Andy Murray.

On Tuesday night, he needed a medical timeout after going down 4-1 in the fourth set for treatment on his leg.

Rafa returned but was clearly bothered by the injury, limping and taking as much time as possible as he tried to stretch between points.
He called the trainer again after losing the fourth set, and lasted only two further games.

Source: AP

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Diego Schwartzman at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal’s hopes of winning a second Australian Open title remain intact after he defeated Diego Schwartzman in four sets (6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3) at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

After the match, Rafa said:

It was a great battle. He is a good friend of mine.

He is a great player, in all aspects, and I feel that for a lot of moments he was serving well.

I was able to keep fighting until the end and it is the first big match I have played in 2018. It probably helps my confidence, knowing I can resist almost four hours on court.

With today’s win Rafa will stay No. 1 after the tournament ends, regardless of what Roger Federer does.

It will be his 33rd overall major quarterfinal when he faces Marin Cilic next.

Rafael Nadal beats Damir Dzumhur in the Australian Open third round [PHOTOS]

The heat wasn’t a factor for Rafael Nadal this time against Damir Dzumhur, despite the searing temperature causing trouble for players earlier Friday at the Australian Open.

Rafa reached the fourth round in Australia for the 11th time with the 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 win, and levelled his career head-to-head record with Dzumhur.

After the match, Rafa said:

Was a good match, of course. When you win 6-1 6-3 6-1 in the third round, is always a great result, no? Without playing well, is impossible to have these kind of results.

So happy for that. Happy to be through, yeah, fourth round. Already is good news.

Rafa is yet to drop a set so far in the tournament and will face Argentine Diego Schwartzman next. Our champ has won all three of his previous matches against the world number 26.

Source: AP

Rafael Nadal beats Leonardo Mayer in the Australian Open second round [PHOTOS]

(AP) – Top-ranked Rafael Nadal is into the third round at Melbourne Park after beating Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Rafa served for the match but was broken in the 10th game, with Mayer hitting a cross-court winner that clipped the line. In the tiebreaker, Rafa won on his first match point with a service winner.

After the match, Rafa said:

An important victory against a tough opponent. He has big potential, hits the ball so strong, I had to hit some great shots in the tie-break. Hes a very dangerous opponent, and we’ve been friends for a long time.  Happy to be in the third round after not having competition for a long time.

It’s always a very special to play in this court. It gives me great energy. Thank you to all the crowd, and many thanks for the support.

Hopefully Toni was watching the match at home. I have the team here working the right way, and Toni is always there if we need him. To my team, and my family this is the favourite tournament of the year so I want to be here as long as possible.

Rafa said he believes the roofs at Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Hisense Arena should be closed to protect the players’ health in extreme conditions.

Even I like sometimes play with hot (temperatures). When is too much, it becomes dangerous for the health. I would not like to see here retirements.

The Australian Open has an extreme heat policy that goes into effect when temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). The roofs can be closed in such situations prior to the start of play.

Rafa isn’t scheduled to play again until Friday. He said he’s still avoiding the heat on Thursday and practicing indoors.

Our champ will next play 28th-seeded Damir Dzumhur, who beat John Millman in four sets.

Source: AP

Rafael Nadal 2018 Australian Open Nike Outfit

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is rocking his sleeveless tank top and pink shorts at the 2018 Australian Open. Check it out below! What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below!

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in Australian Open practice match

Rafael Nadal took on Dominic Thiem in a surprise clash on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.

Thiem won the first set in a tie-break but our champ secured the only two breaks of the match in the second to level the match. While the roof was closed, both men struggled in humid conditions and called off a third set in favour of a tiebreak. Rafa overcame dogged resistance from the Austrian to win 10-8 in the much-needed hitout. Thiem squibbed a simple overhead with the score at 8-8, allowing Rafa to close out the match. The final result was 6-7, 6-2, 10-8.

After the match, Rafa said:

The practice session was more similar to the real match, and that was the goal. I have been practicing very well, with good players. Today I had another test against one of the best players and I have passed it. It has been another good test after I had the day off on Thursday. I am satisfied to be able to keep the good feelings. With the tournament starting soon I feel more and more ready every day. (via El Pais)

Sources: Australian Associated Press, El Pais